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Bauhaus The Bela Session Leaving Records

In music, sometimes a movement can be catalysed in an instant: blink and you’ll miss it. This was the case for Northampton outfit Bauhaus, who sprung up out of nowhere and invented goth rock in less time than it takes most bands to write their first song. For fans, the time has come to own an EP that encapsulates this moment.

The Bela Session is made up of five tracks (three previously unreleased) from the band’s first recording session at Beck Studios in Wellingborough in 1979, just six weeks after they first formed. Opener Bela Lugosi’s Dead, the band’s debut single, embodies the sound Bauhaus became best known for: tense basslines, spidery guitars and Peter Murphy’s trademark deep, gloomy vocals. The rest of the tracks, however, shine new light on the various guises the band tried on before finding their sound. Unreleased tracks Some Faces and Bite My Hip have a sunnier, garage rock feel to them, with Murphy’s vocals sounding distinctly brighter than we’re used to.

The EP feels fragile and improvised, and moments that aim at building tension sometimes fall flat. But there’s a rawness that hints at the band’s talent, even in their formative stage. Stylistically, it’s all over the place, but as a piece of history, that’s exactly what fans will find interesting about it.